An insight into what happened to those that refused to join the Hitler Youth. While they had a good time at the expense of the Nazis for a while – they liked to hang around and listen to American jazz – some paid the ultimate price for their refusal to conform. The Hitler Youth camps allowed poor children a holiday and gave city children the chance to experience the countryside. However, they ultimately prepared young men for war by developing the sort of aggression that they would need, combined with basic military training. Girls were taught cooking, church and children, and were discouraged from having any other ambitions.
Look in more detail at youth rebellion against Nazi rule. Explore the extent to which the Edelweiss Pirates, Leipzig Meuten, Navajos and others were politically opposed to the Hitler Youth. The class should investigate how the Nazis viewed and dealt with these groups and how this related to their broader policy on ‘degenerate’ culture and lifestyles. Students could put themselves in the position of German youth at the time. They should write down the pros and cons that would decide whether they joined the Hitler Youth or Girls’ League, or a group opposed to Nazi rule.